Campaigners rally to save historic Cradley house

Campaigners are calling for support to help save the historic Cradley home of the man credited with bringing chain making to the Black Country.

Developers want to knock down Cradley’s Hatherton Lodge, once the home of Victorian industrialist Noah Hingley and his son Sir Benjamin Hingley, and build seven new houses in its place.

Campaigners insist the building should be preserved due to its historic importance as Mr Hingley’s Netherton ironworks N. Hingley & Sons made the anchor for the Titanic.

But in a structural survey the developers had carried out last year, it said the grand Drews Holloway property had fallen into a state of disrepair.

The survey claimed work to save the house would cost close to £750,000 due to it suffering from “serious structural issues and mining subsidence”.

Despite the condition of the property, hundreds of people have now called for the house to be saved - urging Dudley Council to reject the demolition plans. James, who set up the Facebook group ‘Save Hatherton Lodge – Cradley, Halesowen', said:

"I know how important this building is to industrial heritage of the people of Cradley and I was horrified to see plans to demolish it.

“I wondered if others had the same feelings as I did so I started the group in the hope of maybe a few people backing me, as well as getting the word out about the plans, but I did not expect it to be supported as much as it was - it’s overwhelming.

“Hatherton Lodge is not just a house but it’s a piece of our local history and we should be doing everything in our power to help save it.”

Cornbow Properties have submitted the planning application to demolish the lodge and replace it with two three-storey and five two-storey houses. A statement issued on behalf of the Goodman family, owners of Cornbow Properties, said:

“Unfortunately Hatherton Lodge is in too poor a condition to be able to save.

“The property is suffering from serious structural issues and mining subsidence and is being held together by metal rods side to side and there is a 300mm slope front to back.

“Every avenue was explored but we feel it is not feasible or affordable for the family to renovate the building, the costs would be massively prohibitive.

“However the family have been working closely with the local conservation officer to ensure that what replaces the frontage is sympathetic to the original Hatherton Lodge.”

Campaigners have sent almost 50 official objections to Dudley Council prior to tomorrow's deadline, who will decide whether to approve or reject the plans at a meeting on October 10.


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